Saturday, August 19, 2017

When I Can't Write

This month's round robin topic is 'When you are stumped on moving a plot line forward, what do you do to reinvigorate your imagination?'

My biggest problem with not writing on a particular work in progress is not writer's block but not having enough time to write fiction. I never worry about times when I cannot move a fiction story forward. I've plenty of ideas, most of them written down with notions of what I'd like the story to be about. Sometimes I just go to another idea or another story and work on that. Eventually, the answer for a put-aside work comes to me and reinvigorates my imagination and efforts.

The questions is why can't I move a story forward? Mostly because I'm not sure where to take it, or I consider it garbage and wonder how to change it. Any number of reasons can arise to cause me to reconsider how a story is progressing. 

I have one usual way of handling situations when my thoughts have stalled, my progress lies in limbo, and although I want to keep going with this particular story because it is haunting my mind—I take a walk. Another useful thing I discovered in my classes (mentioned in the previous blog post) was one of my peer students talked about how any right-left body movement relieves stress. Which explains a lot of how my taking walks helps me think, one step at a time on opposite sides of my body makes my mind work. Usually, I return with an idea for change or a way to go forward.

Check these other authors' viewpoints on this topic by following the links listed below:
Diane Bator 
A.J. Maguire  
Anne de Grunchy
Skye Taylor 
Victoria Chatham 
Marie Laval  
Judith Copek 
Dr. Bob Rich 
Helena Fairfax 
Fiona McGier 
Heather Haven 
Beverley Bateman 


  1. I'm with you on the walking. Once my body is in motion, my mind starts churning with ideas. Whole scenes and snatches of dialog come to me and often I can't wait to get back to my desk and write it all down before I forget the witty repartee.

  2. Walking seems a very popular solution to getting the 'little grey cells' working again!

  3. I love walking. It frees the body and the mind. I've sometimes cut the walk short when an idea pops into my brain, so I agree with out about its benefits in a myriad of ways. In fact I need to take a walk right now! Catch you later.

  4. It's wonderful that so many of us mention walking as a solution. The walking must be working, as we all have written and completed lots of stories! I've found this topic very heartening and useful. Thanks so much for organising it all, Robin!

  5. It is so interesting that a lot of us on this blogroll are walkers. There is definitely something to be said for walking. I know authors who write in the morning and take LONG walks in the afternoon. Standing in the shower can also bring forth solutions to thorny writing problems. When I worked in IT, I did some of my best "debugging" in the shower. Like you, I have trouble finding/making time to write, so when I do sit down, I don't want to get stuck in a story. This was really a good topic and I'm so glad you found it.
    The posts have been terrific.

  6. All these writers who take a walk to stimulate progress!! I absolutely love walking, but don't have time in my week to simply add them in. It makes me realise how time-pressured I feel trying to fit my writing in! Thanks for the topic Rhobin.

  7. I haven't heard about any right-left body movement relieves stress. Interesting and it does work with going for a walk. Thanks Rhobin.

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